Friday, April 13, 2012

Math Cafe

While studying decimals and percentages, I thought it would be fun to demonstrate one of the everyday uses of these concepts - prices, discounts and tips.  To model these concepts, we decided to transform our math class into a restaurant for the day.

Just to add an air of authenticity, I brought in some pads of guest checks for the students to take orders when it was their turn to act as a server.  Each student also brought in various snacks to offer in our restaurant.  As soon as each student handed me their snack earlier in the morning, I typed up a quick menu of the items we had to offer.  Other than that, the preparation was pretty minimal.

Each student took turns as either a server or a customer.  We went through the directions and procedure first, then each server got up and took the orders of their customer.  They had to record the price of each item, then prepare a plate for the customer.  While the customers ate their snacks, the servers added up the totals and, in some cases, applied percentage discounts (like a teacher discount!) and tax.  Once a total was reached, the servers dropped the checks and the customers had to determine a tip, then write a check for the total.  When all of the steps are complete, the servers may then become customers and the customers became servers.

With any extra time, students also brought menus to other teachers and school employees and this was probably their favorite part of the experience.  During the lesson, several students brought up connections that they had heard just from going out with family and friends.  It seems to have really made some things "click" from their real-life experience!


Post a Comment